Picture of 2015 Yamaha YZ250FX
Photo Credit: Yamaha Motor Corporation

2015 Yamaha YZ250FX

Manufacturers introduce new versions of their existing motorcycles year after year, but it’s a special occasion when we get to see the unveiling of a whole new class of machine altogether. That’s why today’s announcement by Yamaha about the YZ250FX is a big deal.

Last year, Yamaha revamped the YZ250F, and Jeremy Martin took it to the top of the podium in pro motocross. The YZ250FX builds on the legacy of the YZ250F, but the difference is that it isn’t a motocross bike. Instead, it’s an off-road racing bike – perfect for GNCC, WORCS, hare scrambles, etc. It is Yamaha’s first bike that will be designed to race cross-country events. As a result, it has a number of significant changes from the motocross model, such as an electric start and an 18-inch rear wheel.

As a closed-course racing machine, the YZ250FX differs from the WR250F as it doesn’t include some unnecessary features (like lights), and it isn’t built for emissions compliance. For these reasons, the YZ250FX won’t supplant the WR250F in all racing conditions (such as enduro events) – and definitely won’t encroach on the WR250F’s territory as a trail bike – but it will become a major player in many off-road races.

Announcing the New YZ250FX at the AIMExpo
Photo taken at the AIMExpo (American International Motorcycle Expo)

Highlights

The YZ250FX features a rearward slanted engine. It includes an additional sixth gear and a wide ratio transmission to help it perform better in off-road conditions. The engine and 2.1-gallon fuel tank is built close to the center mass of the bike to make the machine’s handling ideal.

The KYB suspension has been tuned for cross country racing. It also has a Dunlop AT81 tires designed for both traction and excellent wear in rigorous off-road conditions. The air box is positioned high to help avoid the intrusion of dust, mud and water. The air box also features quick-release fasteners to quick access to the filter without the need of tools.

The YZ250FX is designed to be ready to compete in off-road races as a stock machine. Of course, this doesn’t mean that riders won’t make tweaks to it as they do with any bike (especially racing bikes), but as a motorcycle that comes optimized for cross-country racing, is a much better start than off-road racers have had in the past with Yamaha’s motocross or trail bikes.

Specifications

Specifications
Engine Type 250cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 4 titanium valves
Bore x Stroke 77.0 x 53.6mm
Compression Ratio 13.5:1
Fuel Delivery Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI) Keihin® 44mm
Ignition TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission Wide-ratio constant-mesh 6-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive Chain
Suspension / Front KYB® Speed-Sensitive System; inverted fork; fully adjustable, 12.2-in travel
Suspension / Rear KYB® fully adjustable single shock; 12.5-in travel
Brakes / Front Hydraulic single disc brake, 250mm
Brakes / Rear Hydraulic single disc brake, 245mm
Tires / Front 90/90-21 54M
Tires / Rear 110/100-18 64M
L x W x H 85.2 x 32.5 x 50.4 in
Seat Height 38.0mm
Wheelbase 57.7 in
Ground Clearance 12.8 in
Fuel Capacity 2.1 gal
Wet Weight 249 lbs
Warranty 30 Days (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color Team Yamaha Blue/White

Why It Matters

This is significant news as the only other major manufacturer currently selling race-tuned off-road bikes is KTM. If you look at the race results for series like GNCC or WORCS, you can see a solid number of KTM riders. It will be interesting to see if the YZ250FX shakes that up a little bit.

The dirt bike will retail at a suggested price of $7,890 and will be available starting in December 2014.